Things that Make a Dreary Monday Better

I returned late last night from California to an ice storm. Frozen sidewalks greeted my walk to the store this morning. As I navigated the treacherous, icy streets, I muttered to myself that just yesterday I was enjoying the fine 55 and sunny day in San Francisco. Why did I come back? But! I was taking a quick computer break (getting the carpal tunnel I fear) and began to flip through the FSG catalog that arrived this morning. I saw so much to get me excited about the spring:

  • What is the first book with a double page spread? The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer. Yes! I loved The Confessions of Max Tivoli and can’t wait to get my hands on this one.
  • How about a book length essay by the new New Yorker writer James Wood called How Fiction Works? “The result is nothing less than a philosophy of the novell–plainspoken, funny, blunt–in the traditions of E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.”
  • A short story collection from Chris Adrian called A Better Angel. He’s a student right now across the street, yet we’ve never had an event for The Children’s Hospital, a staff favorite. Perhaps we can finally host him. Also, go read his short story ‘Promise Breaker‘ in Esquire.
  • Graywolf, whom FSG distributes, has an interesting book called Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir written by Daniel Tomasulo. I’ve never heard of him, but the brief paragraph they include peaked my interest:

    From August 1956 through April 1961 I controlled the traffic and streetlights in New York City and northern New Jersey. It was a daunting task for a five-year-old, but by the summer of ’56 I realized I had a responsibility I could not ignore. My identity and my mission were top secret. With the exception of terse, encrypted communications to the National Security Council and the CIA< I couldn't breathe a word.

    I would caution the Graywolf folks to omit the phrase laugh-out-loud humor from the press materials. Something about that phrase raises my hackles.

  • Finally, I was so ecstatic to see that the next volume of short stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi is coming in May from Drawn & Quarterly. It’s called Good-Bye and hopefully is as good as the last two volumes The Push Man and Other Stories and Abandon the Old in Tokyo. You can preview his work here.